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League One

Howe tries to take heat off

7 April 2013

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe claimed his side were still outsiders for automatic promotion despite coming from behind to beat 10-man Notts County 3-1.

Brett Pitman scored for the sixth game in a row while in-form Matt Ritchie scored twice as the Cherries maintained their grip on second place. County were dealt a major blow on the stroke of half-time when Andre Boucad was sent off after picking up a second booking for a trip on Harry Arter.

The win lifted Bournemouth five points clear of third-placed Yeovil, but Brentford and Sheffield United both have games in hand on the south coast outfit.

Howe said: "I am really pleased that we've come from behind and won. It's not something we've done particularly well this season. Going behind so early was a real test for us. We scored at really good times and scored some great goals.

"Coming from behind and winning is a great confidence booster for us going into the remaining three games. I still put the other teams as favourites. They have the games in hand, they are the masters of their own destiny and we're still reliant on them. They're in the box seat. We've just got to keep winning if we can."

Howe's promotion-chasers made a disastrous start after Jeff Hughes headed County in front inside the opening two minutes. League One player of the year Ritchie levelled after 17 minutes with a drilled shot from the edge of the penalty area after Marc Pugh and Charlie Daniels had combined down the left.

The hosts were in front nine minutes later with Pitman thumping a long-range half-volley past County goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski. Ritchie wrapped up the points five minutes from time by rifling Lewis Grabba's centre beyond Bialkowski from 15 yards.

County have won only one of their last seven games, dashing any lingering hopes of a late charge for the play-offs.

Manager Chris Kiwomya was unimpressed by card happy referee David Phillips. Kiwomya said: "I'm very disappointed with the referee. I thought he spoiled the game. It could have been a very good game between two attacking teams, but he's giving out yellow cards. Their second goal followed a handling offence.

"We started off well. The goals we conceded could have been avoided. Playing with 10 men, it was a mental battle. It was a backs-to-the-wall job, but we played well and created chances. But you have to take them."

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